Dodger1 wrote:Mini Vivaldi II (or)
New Alex Duetto II (or)
Expobar Brewtus III-V
The accessories: a good tamper, 20oz milk frothing pitcher, knockbox (the Bumper), bottomless portafilter and a digital 0.1 gram accuracy scale.
Keith, first of all, welcome to the "World of Espresso."
While it is true that any
of the machines you have selected will work, I would take seriously JonR's advice (I would pick the vendor as much as the machine
). And with that in mind, I cannot recommend strongly enough Chris' Coffee Service
-- home to two
of the three machines you've "pre-selected."
But before making specific suggestions, I have a question. Specifically, is having your machine plumbed directly into a water line a possibility? If it is
, I would agree with Merle (uscfrodie) and suggest you look at the "regular" La Spaziale Vivaldi II
rather than the "Mini." If plumbing is not
an option, I would take a serious look at the Izzo Alex Duetto II
-- among its other features, it can easily go back and forth from being a pourover machine to being plumbed in, thus preserving that option for a later possible change in circumstance.
Finally, although you do not mention a specific budget (and, of course, it is easy for us to spend your money!), I would seriously suggest a different grinder. Is there anything wrong with a Mazzer Mini? No. It's a fine grinder. But you can get a superior grinder for very little more, and -- if you are willing to buy used -- you can actually get one for less. Grinders are just as important as the machine itself -- in fact, I sincerely believe they are more
important. So let me completely blow your budget, and suggest some alternatives to the Mazzer Mini (while still attempting to maintain some reasonability in the price department):
- a Mazzer Super Jolly (SJ) -- you can often find these used for less than the Mini, and that includes the purchase of a brand-new set of burrs (even new, I think it's worth the difference); or,
- a La Cimbali Max Hybrid (CMH) (the biggest single improvement I ever made to my espresso wa upgrading from a Mazzer Mini to a CMH).
P.S. Let me say that I have no connection to Chris' Coffee Service
, other than as a satisfied, repeat customer. The same can be said for me -- that I am a satisfied, repeat customer -- for several other vendors including, but not limited to, 1st-Line Equipment
, Espresso Parts, NW
, and Stefano's Espresso Care
. Some other vendors may carry the above equipment, while some may not. But finding a solid, reliable vendor is essential.